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Friday, April 12, 2024

Japan – declining birth rate. Demographic problem

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said his country is on the verge of being unable to function as a society due to a falling birth rate, the BBC reported. Kishida stated that this is the last moment to address this issue. “Now or never,” he stressed.

It is estimated that in Japan – with a population of 125 million – less than 800,000 people were born last year. In the 1970s, the number was over two million, the BBC reported.

Japan’s demographic problem

As the portal pointed out, the birth rate is falling in many countries, including countries neighboring Japan. However, the problem is particularly acute in the Land of the Rising Sun as life expectancy has increased in recent decades, meaning there are more and more elderly people and fewer workers to support them.

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Japan now has the second highest proportion of people aged 65 and over in the world at around 28 percent. – after the tiny state of Monaco – according to data from the World Bank.

“Japan is on the verge of whether we can continue to function as a society,” Kishida said.

He added: “Focusing on children’s policy and child-rearing is an issue that cannot wait and cannot be postponed.

“Measures to reverse the negative trend will be “the most effective investment in the future,” Kishida said. He vowed to build a “society and economy where children come first.”

A new government body, the Children and Families Agency, will start work in April and will be responsible for children policy. By June, the government will set out a plan to double spending on increasing fertility, Kishida said, quoted by Kyodo news agency.

Previous attempts to rectify the demographic situation

However, Japanese governments have tried to promote similar strategies before, without success.

In 2020, scientists predicted Japan’s population would fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century. According to official figures, the population is now just under 125 million, the BBC reported.

Japan continues to implement strict immigration rules, albeit with some easing, but some experts now say the rules should be relaxed even further to help fight an aging population.

The decline in the birth rate is due to a number of factors, including the rising cost of living, more women in education and work, and greater access to contraception – leading to women choosing to have fewer children.

He also added that last week China experienced their first population decline in 60 years.

Main photo source: couponjabah / Shutterstock.com



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